Ellen Driscoll ’74 is one of three artists this year to receive the prestigious 2010 MacColl Johnson Fellowships of $25,000 each—one of the largest no-strings awards to artists in the United States—from the Rhode Island Foundation.
The fellowships are intended “to fund an artist’s vision or voice,” and have been awarded on a three-year cycle since 2005 to composers, writers, and visual artists. Providence-based Driscoll, a professor of sculpture at Rhode Island School of Design, plans to use her award to create three new floating sculptures for the Providence River.
Her creations in sculpture, drawing, installation, and public art reflects a passionate interest in issues of social, racial, and environmental justice. Her recent studio works is the continuation of a multi-year investigation in sculpture and drawing of the architecture and landscapes that result from extracting and consuming natural resources.
Some of Driscoll’s recent large-scale installations include FastForwardFossil #1 at Frederieke Taylor Gallery, FastForwardFossil #2 at Smack Mellon, and Revenant and Phantom Limb for Nippon Ginko, Hiroshima, Japan. Earlier works include The Loophole of Retreat at the Whitney Museum at Phillip Morris; As Above, So Below for Grand Central Terminal (a suite of 20 mosaic and glass images for the tunnels at 45th, 47th, and 48th streets); Catching the Drift, a restroom for the Smith College Museum of Art; and Wingspun for the International Arrivals corridor at Raleigh Durham airport. Her work is part of several major public and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.